Japanese knotweed is a serious problem and the law bans the planting or spread of Japanese knotweed in the wild under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Section 14(2).
Japanese knotweed is also classed as controlled waste under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 – and failure to dispose of it according to the Duty of Care Regulations 1991 (Amended 2003) may lead to a criminal prosecution.
Japanese knotweed can, however, spread from a neighbour’s gardens or land near a property – and if a neighbour fails to prevent it spreading outside their boundaries, a dispute can soon occur.
It is possible to take legal action for damages if a neighbour does not dispose of Japanese knotweed according to the law – or allows it to continue growing until it invades your property.
It is always a good idea to approach your neighbour and try and negotiate in a dispute over Japanese knotweed – but taking legal advice early on can help protect your interests and your property if negotiation with your neighbour fails.
It is also possible to take action against a Japanese knotweed contractor who fails to eradicate Japanese knotweed from a property as a result of negligence – for example, by not removing it or disposing of it correctly.
While failure to dispose Japanese knotweed correctly under the law may be a criminal matter, having Japanese knotweed on your land is not illegal – provided you dispose of it correctly and do not allow it to grow past your boundaries onto another person’s property.
Japanese knotweed can not only destroy land and natural habitat, it can also invade the foundations and structure of a property – and affect the ability of a homeowner or homebuyer to get a mortgage on a property affected by Japanese knotweed, as well as making properties with Japanese knotweed hard to insure.
Local Authorities, the police and the Environment Agency can all take action against an individual who allows Japanese knotweed to spread – a conviction may lead to a prison sentence and/or fines of up to £5,000.
LAWTEC Solicitors advise residential and commercial property owners on taking legal action for compensation in disputes over Japanese knotweed.
Making Japanese Knotweed Claims
LAWTEC Solicitors have a wealth of experience in handling cases involving third-party damage to residential and commercial properties, including Japanese knotweed disputes.
Although allowing the spread of Japanese knotweed or not disposing of it correctly are criminal offences, disputes between neighbours over Japanese knotweed fall under civil law.
LAWTEC Solicitors act swiftly to protect a client’s interests in cases involving Japanese knotweed.
In property cases, time can be of the essence and LAWTEC Solicitors recommend that clients get in touch as soon as possible for legal advice on making a claim in a Japanese knotweed dispute, so that the appropriate action can be taken against the opponent to protect your property.
Under civil law, claims can usually be made within six years of a dispute starting – however, Japanese knotweed can grow at an alarming rate and taking legal action early can protect your interests and your property.
LAWTEC Solicitors can also advise on alternatives to legal action over Japanese knotweed, including dispute resolution and mediation with neighbours.
Funding Claims in Japanese Knotweed Disputes
LAWTEC Solicitors offer clients who wish to take legal action in Japanese knotweed disputes a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) to fund their case.
LAWTEC Solicitors also offers a fixed fee arrangement for the initial assessment of cases involving Japanese knotweed disputes, so our clients know exactly how much they will be paying from the outset.
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